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Grateful Dead Live at Sports Arena on 1993-12-08

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Grateful Dead Live at Sports Arena on 1993-12-08

Topics Live concert

Rain-> Let The Good Times Roll, I'm A King Bee, Stagger Lee, Me & My Uncle-> Mexicali Blues, Lazy River Road, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Row Jimmy, Picasso Moon Iko Iko, Way To Go Home, Playin' In The Band -> Uncle John's Band-> Jam-> Drums-> Space-> The Last Time, Morning Dew-> Sugar Magnolia, E: I Fought The Law

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Sports Arena
Location Los Angeles, CA

Source SBD > DAT > CDR


SBD > DAT > CDR; via C. Larson; Seeded to etree by C. Ladner


Reviewer: barreramusic - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 17, 2014
Subject: Thank you!
This was one of the few shows I saw in '93. People warning me they were not always playing well was a waste of their time. I was always happy being there. It's still the Good Ol' Greateful Dead! This one is not fantastic, but it has its highlights as all shows do.

The highlights for me are STAGGER LEE (great jamming here) KING BEE (breakout), the St Stephen tease out of Space (I wasn't sure if my mind was playing tricks), Dew (rough start, but it turns out beautiful). I should add Rain as a personal highlight as it was the first I ever saw, and I think it's the only one I ever saw.

Problems with this copy: Lazy River Road @2:51 and Sugar Magnolia @ 2:01 are spliced. Oh well, it's still great to have the chance to enjoy, and the clarity is good. (3 stars).

Thank you for the upload.
Reviewer: Jack_straw22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 29, 2009
Subject: I Disagree...
With some of the comments here. Obviously Jerry's skills have eroded by 93. It was hit or miss with he and the band by this time (more misses than hits!) and you have to look hard at finding the hits during this period. However, I find this show has a few nuggets of goodness. Case in point: Uncle John's Band. While he did flub the opening lines (He was blowing the lines to this for 20 why is anyone surprised?), the introduction is absolutely beautiful. As a previous reviewer noted, Bobby and Vince did a nice job of "bringing him back." IMHO, it is one of the best post-Brent versions of this song.

In addition, I found The Last Time to be equally good. While he MAY have wanted to go one way and the band another (It's all speculation by the Grateful Dead "Scholars" that post asinine comments on this site), it is still a great version.

Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed listening to this. Different? Yes. Poor performance? I don't think so.
Reviewer: gotcds - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 29, 2009
Subject: Not bad, a pleasant listen at times
This isn't half-bad. An excellent recording. I normally avoid post 1991/1992 GD.

It certainly has its flaws but its an enjoyable listen from a year that is terribly inconsistent.

I was more engaged in the Drums/Space (and the part before the faux St Stephen jam) than any part of the show.

From 1993 on, I felt the most interesting and most inventive part of the shows were indeed Drums and Space
Reviewer: Augy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2008
Subject: What is sad about it is, but then glad ...
O.K., I'll compromise with you guys, and go back to my previous rating of a 4, since I disagree with you about "Rain", i.e. I was glad because it was something different, but it certainly wasn't the best part of the show!
I thought I was the one, since people used think I was too critical and therefore, I'm glad that I'm not the only person here, who can try to be objective in relation to other shows! On the other hand, if you weren't there, I respectfully suggest you don't bother reviewing any shows at all; save for possiblely, very early ones, since most of the people who were actually there usually don't remember, drugs or not!
What is sad about it is, but then glad, that they hadn't played Morning Dew in L.A. in 20 years since U.C.L.A. in '73. The closest they came, were the two in Ventura in '84 and '87, the better of which is '84, (a highly recommended show for more reasons than just that).
But I sure was glad to see that and a few other rarities like "King Bee", (how often do you get to see that)? Not to mention, "Stagger Lee", "Lazy River Road", "Row Jimmy", "Picasso Moon" "Aiko Aiko", "Way To Go Home", "The Last Time", and "I Fought The Law". Granted some of these were becoming in this late era more common than they used to be, nevertheless a good song list, to say the least!
I know in the grand scheme of shows, the following doesn't really matter, but a trend that always seemed to linger in my subconscious, was concerning the following; perhaps it may seem kind of silly, to those who elsewhere saw a different experience, in terms of the set list etc. Like to me, seeing "Row Jimmy", still at that point I considered it a difference, at least for this geographical region, (i.e. as compared to the East Coast where they never stopped playing that tune). It had been almost decade since its' return to west coast performances (i.e. up in the Bay Area), but it still was a rarity down south, especially for me since I missed it in Irvine, during a period in which I was trying to quit seeing Grateful Dead. I hadn't seen them do "Row Jimmy" in So. Cal., since '76 at the Shrine again, a highly recommended show for more than just that; (example, "Comes a Time" and to open, the greatest rendition of "Might as Well" I've ever heard)!
I was about to say, San Diego in '79 but I think I'm confusing with "High Time", which similarly, wasn't played in a very long time except Long Beach in '88. They might have done that also in Irvine, when I wasn't there, but I'm not sure?
I've only heard this only a few times, quite a while ago. Being lucky, (as stated elsewhere in other reviews), to have attended any shows during this period of time for me was not easy, and therefore, may have skewed my perception to such elation!

San Diego
Reviewer: Don Texist - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2008
Subject: Actually I think this show is fun
I agree not the best but still worth a listen. Upping the rating to 3 1/2 star
Reviewer: skullsnroses - favoritefavorite - November 10, 2008
Subject: first few notes of morning dew...
I'm playing a little dirty here... I think this is a 3 star show. I think the avreage on this show is too high. I use three stars for what I consider middle of the road for a Grateful Dead show. This show is not better then middle of the road. How could this be considered one of the better shows... are we counting my garage band covers of Franklins and Good Lovin with Spooky Lukee? This show is only really worth your time if you've got an every year listening habit, or have a shine to a tune or two, maybe you were there?, but for the sake of truth this is a weak performance... Take the first few notes of Dew into consideration. I think the Rain opener is the highlight of this show, and the jam is cool with the tease, but I;m more of a meat and potatoes kinda guy... God bless
Reviewer: gdjake - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 3, 2008
Subject: much better than many of the reviews
Yes, this wasn't one of their best shows even during this period, but it IS a very INTERESTING show, and it ABSOLUTELY has its moments.
As has been mentioned, this "Morning Dew" was far from their best effort, but like someone else mentioned, was special just in that it was played at all. This show also saw two openers ("Rain> LTGTR") AND two closers ("Morning Dew> Sugar Mag/Sunshine Daydream") along with some very interesting band interplay and the oft mentioned "St. Stephen" tease which of course is fun to listen to.

...And how about a ten song 1st set? heck yes. Lets give credit where credit is due. "Rain" (presumably in honor of the anniversary of Lennons death) followed by "LTGTR" was a fun start to the show, and "King Bee" breaking out after 20+ years was astonishing AND fantastically well played. Jerry inverts a verse in "Stagger Lee" but without missing a beat catches it, gets back on track, and repeats (with more enthusiasm) the verse in its proper place. A very interesting and well played version, and at the time I thought the repeated verse was intentional to stretch out the tune!! Rest of the 1st set is well played if not stellar, and the "Picasso Moon" closer was an interesting (if underwhelming) choice.

Yes, this wasn't one of their best 2nd sets, but its not "the beginning of the end" as some would have you believe. In fact, all three of these Sports Arena shows were well played, creative, and full of energy. The band and crowd seemed energized, and i fully expected good things to come. Back to the review.
"Iko" isnt anything special, but it gets everyone in the groove. "Long Way" was well done by Vince, and if nothing else better than a "Samba" or "Wave to the Wind" that couldve been played in its place.
The "Playin> UJB" actually has alot of VERY nice guitar work in it, and the "bad notes" I've read about aren't readily apparent. Actually, it seems Jerry gets so into the jam between "Playin" and "UJB" that he seems to kinda lose himself and flubs the opening vocals. Bob and Vince do a great job of getting him back on track, and after the 1st verse it becomes a pretty version, and the "Sugar Mag", while nowhere near the Dead at their best, is far from a stinker, and keeps everyone dancing and having a good time. No post space ballad in this show, which ALSO makes it quite intriguing!!
Finally, we have an odd choice (for such an interesting night) for an encore with the oft criticized (but fun, short, and sweet) "I Fought The Law", but it's played well and continues the upbeat mood of the crowd.

All in all, a solid show from a solid run. 5 star setlist (especially considering the "Stephen" jam), 3.5 star performance, and 4 star sound. Definately worth a listen.
Reviewer: Lord Happy - favoritefavorite - January 11, 2008
Subject: The Best of the Last Time's
Having attended this show, I clearly recall that after Rain, I was pretty quiet and the band felt off to me until they were coming out of Drumz, at which point we could definitely see, hear and feel the interplay going back and forth amongst the band over the issue of Last Time/St. Stephen and yeah, it was like the Cosmic Charlie tease that morphed into Wharf Rat instead.

But'cha know, I was there for the breakout of Casey Jones at RFK and you coulda easily heard that riff going off elsewhere, even into a full on version of Shenandoah which they had been toying with since they were at Capital Center 3 months earlier in March of 92. And yet, Jerry pushed the breakout of Casey Jones.

So do I think Jerry wanted to go one way and the band another? Sure, happened all the time, and this is just another example. How many times did Bobby double dip just before Jerry came to the mic?

As for the poster who thought that this show was indicative of The Decline and that the aforementioned musical discussion between the band mates produced unlistenable results, I heartily made for a great stage interplay and, as all musical tastes are subjective anyway, I think the riffs fit nicely with each other. Its sorta like that 7/12/90 RFK show, when the band is playing Mr. Fantasy and Hey Jude simultaneously. Which side would win? The audience, that's who!

As for downloading, in my un-humble opinion, grab Last Time and be done with this show.
Reviewer: StaggrLee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 9, 2007
Subject: 5 Stars for Space->Last Time
I thought the "Rain" opener was turgid. So I skipped ahead to the 2nd set jam out of space.

I disagree with the previous review. There is a lot of interplay between Weir and Garcia in this jam. Jerry's playing hints at "St Stephen", but Bob hears it, and plays a version of the 'Stephen' riff himself. Pretty exciting jam for this period! ...And a very different jam from the Stephen tease from Red Rocks 1982 (which also did not turn into "St. Stephen").
Reviewer: Terrapin31590 - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 24, 2007
Subject: St. Stephen Teaser
There was an interesting conversation going on between Jerry and the band out of space. He clearly wanted to go for it and play St. Stephen and Weir basically said, "not gonna do it." Weir's playing the rythym line from Last Time over and over and Jerry is trying to push the band into a St. Stephen. Vince seems good for whatever, possibly clueless as to what Stephen is, Phil seems amenable, as do the drummers. The tonal contrast is not as harsh as other posters note. There is some similarity in the chord structure but at about the 5 min. mark Jerry just says to hell with it, stops playing for about 10 seconds and then caves in and off we go to Last Time. One of those "what could have been" scenarios in the late history of the band, along with 2/27/94 when Jerry chickened out of trying Cosmic Charlie. What could have been indeed ...
Reviewer: phil r monic - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 27, 2006
Subject: I fought the law....
.... and the law won....NOT!!!
Got a ticket for possession of pot prior to this show. Turns out LAPD didn't have probable cause and the charges were dropped... YIPPEE!!
But as you can imagine I was a bit distracted for this whole run of shows, which were pretty forgettable anyway
Reviewer: lobster12 - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 10, 2005
Subject: last time
Don't love or hate the show. Always found the 15 minute "last time" fascinating. It could be because Jerry was "lost" but I found the extended intro musically creative on some level.
Reviewer: jjwood64 - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 16, 2004
Subject: The Wheels starting to fall out
This is a fine quality SBD, with the mix slightly thin, but one that would be most

The problem is that despite the setlist, on
CDR, this show provides a painful listening
experience, and a place where the beginning
of The Decline occurred for one Jerome John
Garcia. The rest of the band is there and
willing, but gets often derailed by Jerry.
ok, the band had not played in a couple
of months, but there are mistakes in this
show that are simply unacceptible.

The show does have its moments, primarily
in the first set with a driving Stagger Lee
and the return of King Bee. The rest of the
set is competent, and with a decent amount
of energy.

The second set though provides three prime
examples of Jerry's decline. During the
song structure of Playin', Jerry hits several
off notes and plays very unsteady. The
jam is marked by fewer notes, many of them
lacking crispness and confidence.

The heralded space with the so-called
St. Stephen jam is very painful; as Jerry
is on a completely different plane from
his bandmates. There are the Stephen-like
phrases, but the band is clearly trying to
start The Last Time, and the contrasts between
Jerry and the band provide almost-unlistenable
results; like trying to listen to a CDR while
somebody else scratches her nails on chalkboard.

The review in the Taper's Compendium got it
right about the Morning Don't, as Jerry
butchers this vocally, and his guitar doesn't
fare any better. A horrendous performance
followed by a sputtering Sugar Mags caps
a show that on paper should have far exceeded
better results.

4.5 stars for the recording; 2 for the performance.
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